Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Potential free-agent fits remaining for Rams
By Nick Wagoner
The St. Louis Rams finally dipped their toes into the free-agent waters Tuesday when they agreed to a one-year deal with defensive lineman Alex Carrington.
Carrington was the first outside free agent the team signed with experience playing in the NFL. At Wednesday's owners meetings in Orlando, coach Jeff Fisher indicated the Rams may not be done in free agency.
While there could be others on the team's radar who haven't been brought up or come to St. Louis for visits, let's take a look at what remains on the market and what could still be in the offing for the Rams.
- The Rams remain in the mix for Tennessee receiver Kenny Britt, who is expected to make a decision at any moment. Britt began a free-agent tour with a stop in St. Louis and has also stopped in Washington, New England and Buffalo. Carolina has also showed interest though the Patriots have indicated they are out of the mix. Fisher expressed optimism that Britt would be a Ram on Wednesday but it seems the receiver is still sifting through his options. It's hard to know what Britt is thinking but it's reasonable to assume the Rams are near the top of his list based on his relationship with Fisher.
- It seems the speculation surrounding the Rams and quarterback Mark Sanchez has been a bit overblown. The Rams do have some interest but, as our Chris Mortensen first reported, it looks like Sanchez will land in Philadelphia. The Rams want a veteran quarterback as a backup option behind Sam Bradford and possible tutor for a drafted rookie. All signs still point to Shaun Hill being their preferred target. Hill came and went without signing in St. Louis and there's also been talk of him considering a return to Detroit. Hill is recovering from foot surgery, the second year in a row he's had such an operation, and that could be delaying his decision or the team's rush to get something done. If not Hill, there isn't much available on the market in terms of solid veteran backups.
- In speaking to reporters at the owners meetings, Fisher said the Rams were quickly priced out of the safety market in free agency. He also indicated that a veteran safety could still be an option. For that to happen, a new name previously not publicly connected to the Rams would have to emerge. Chris Clemons, Thomas DeCoud and Patrick Chung are among the remaining options. Clemons is the most accomplished of the group and DeCoud is a known commodity for general manager Les Snead from their time together in Atlanta. Other than speculation, none of these or any other safeties have been tied to the Rams in terms of visits or actual interest at this point.
- Finally, the offensive line remains a point of consternation among Rams faithful though keeping Rodger Saffold has alleviated many fears. Saffold is slated to start at right guard but the Rams could use another veteran option on the interior. They've visited with or expressed interest in Davin Joseph, Daryn Colledge, Paul McQuistan and Mike McGlynn but so far opted not to sign any of them. They've also said they would have interest in bringing back recently released Harvey Dahl. It wouldn't be a surprise if the Rams decided to land one of the aforementioned vets but they could be waiting for the prices to drop out on the interior lineman market or they might simply be satisfied with looking to continue to upgrade the line through the draft.
Pending the numbers of the Carrington deal and without the $3 million credit for Cortland Finnegan, the Rams are sitting just below $9 million in cap space. That's enough to make more moves but don't expect anything that comes to exceed the one year "prove it" type of deals being handed out around the league right now.